Abramovich stands by Conte but wants ‘Chelsea player overhaul’

Date published: Tuesday 27th September 2016 10:51

Antonio Conte: Set to be given transfer funds

Roman Abramovich is reportedly willing to hand Antonio Conte a huge transfer warchest to turn Chelsea into genuine title contenders amid claims he wants to improve the quality of the Blues’ squad.

Chelsea have picked up only one point in their last three Premier League matches, and were comprehensively outplayed in defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal. The Blues’ performance at the Emirates was quickly torn apart in our blog after the game.

Despite quickly losing patience with managers in the past, Abramovich is “sympathetic” with former Italy boss Conte, according to The Times.

The Blues owner is understood to have spent several hours at the club’s Cobham training base on Monday, holding informal talks with Conte and made the point of watching an entire training session.

The Russian did not speak to any players and chose not to hold any form of crisis meeting, as he has done after poor results in the past.

Abramovich understands Conte’s frustrations at the club’s transfer business in the summer, with only N’Golo Kante arriving out of the manager’s initial targets.

After making 11 managerial changes in 13 years, there is now a sense at the club that the players should be held accountable for their poor performances since lifting the title under Jose Mourinho in 2014/15.

Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic have been singled out for criticism, although Conte believes the whole team need to take responsibility for the club’s poor defending.

The Blues were linked with a £25million move for Burnley’s Michael Keane in Tuesday’s Paper Talk.

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